Maxima and Willem-Alexander take their little ones to Dutch royal family christening

The husband-and-wife team took their daughters Alexia and Ariane to the ceremony, which was attended by a roll call of blue-blooded guests
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 Photo: © Rex

There was a big family affair in store this week for Princess Maxima and her husband Prince Willem-Alexander. The couple joined the rest of the Dutch royal family at the christening of little Eliane van Vollenhoven, daughter of Queen Beatrix's nephew Prince Floris and his wife Princess Aimee.

At the wish of the parents, the ceremony – which took place in the chapel of the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, 60 miles south east of Amsterdam - was kept private. The numerous royal guests were spotted arriving, though.

Heading the group were nine-month-old Eliane's grandparents Princess Margriet and her husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven, enjoying a special day surrounded by their children and grandchildren, including Eliane's big sister, two-year-old Magali.

Prince Floris' older brother Pieter Christiaan – who lost his claim on the throne by not seeking parliamentary permission to marry – was there with his wife Anita, and their children, Emma, three and one-year-old Pieter.

The eldest son of Princess Margriet, Prince Maurits, also attended with his wife Princess Marilene and their little ones, Anna and Lucas.

The happy day resulted in several snapshots of Queen Beatrix in her role as happy grandmother in the midst of her grandchildren.

As well as Maxima's daughters Alexia, four, and two-year-old Ariane – who had their best smiles on for the royal snappers - Luana, four, and three-year-old Zaira, daughters of Prince Friso and Princess Mabel, were also there. Though the adorable pair proved to be quite shy, and were reluctant to leave the arms of their mother.

Completing the set of Princess Beatrix's grandchildren were six-year-old Count Claus-Casimir, and Countesses Eloise, seven, and three-year-old Leonore, the children of the queen's youngest Prince Constantijn.

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